Graze: To feed on growing grasses.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

-Ps. 23:1-6

Growing up on a farm, I used to watch the cows, sheep & horses graze in the pasture. Each morning we would open the gate to the barnyard and they knew there was freedom from that small pen they were in. They also knew there was nice green grass beyond the barnyard. Once the gate was open, look out because those animals wanted to get where the tall, green grass grew – the pasture! They would take off sometimes even running up the old fenced lane that went up over the hill through the cornfield to the lush green pasture on the other side of the farm. There they would graze for a while then lay down and rest for a while then graze some more. They did this all day long. Come evening we would go over to the pasture’s edge and call the cows – 'come boss, 'come boss. They would gather at the pasture gate. Sometimes we would have to go round up a few stragglers and when all were accounted for, we’d open the lane gate and back over the hill they would go to the barnyard for the night. The next morning was the same routine, day after day.
What a life, huh?!

Oh that we could just graze and rest in shady green pastures all day long! But we can rest and graze in God’s green pastures and restore our souls . . . The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (Ps. 23:1) I believe God wants us to slow down and “rest” and “graze” and “feed” on His Word. Life throws so many things our way and we are so busy – busy doing good things. But are we running on empty a good share of the time? Are we feeling stretched to extreme? Are we content with who we are in God’s divine providence? Slow down and take some time to just leisurely graze, rest a while, then graze and feed on the good things God has provided for you. Graze, rest, and enjoy the “shady green pastures” of God’s abundant love, grace, and mercy.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Mustard Seed Faith

Matthew 17:20                           

Mustard seed faith says what God says about any given situation.
- Dr. Danny Diaz

How many mountains could we move? Just think about it a little bit . . .

Do you realize how tiny a mustard seed really is??  Well, a mustard seed is 1.88 mm - not very big at all!!  Actually, it is about the size of the tip of a pencil lead!!

Nothing is really impossible with God . . . even with as little faith as a mustard seed!  Do we stop to realize that?  Do we realize what is really available to us at the end of our "faith"?  Faith the size of a mustard seed . . . that really is not very much faith!  A tiny mustard seed (one of the least of all seeds) when sowed in the field and when grown is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree. A tree that birds of the air come and lodge in!  (Matthew 13:31-32)

I like a little bit of mustard . . . a little on my hot dog and hamburger - but not too much!  I also like mustard on a bologna sandwich! It is good seasoning for potato salad and deviled eggs and many other dishes.  That little seed is very potent and the taste of mustard can be very overpowering!  It doesn't take much mustard for me to get the full robust flavor! 

Isn't that what God's Word tells us about "faith" . . . it doesn't take much faith to feel and see that robust act of trusting in God. A God that nothing is really impossible for!  It really is not "how much" faith we have . . . it is only that we have faith and it can be as tiny as the little mustard seed.  Maybe it is not so much in "how much" but in "how we use that bit of faith"!  Do we really believe God can answer our toughest prayers?  How about the little prayers I whisper to God though out my day to day routine?  Do I believe that He cares, that He wants the very best for me, that He is just waiting for me to exercise my mustard seed-sized faith in a Sovereign God that "nothing is impossible" or too hard for Him? And that He comes into my life and offers me the peace that passeth all understanding and the assurance that everything will be OK?

My faith in a God that knows all, sees all, hears all, and conquers all obstacles in life has been stretched over this last year.  Especially since discovering I had two brain tumors!! Looking back I realize that I was barely existing for the majority of last year.  I really don't know how I was existing - I was there but I really wasn't there.  People come up to me now and tell me that "I'm Back" - "it's me again"! My faith was ever so small - maybe even smaller than the tiny mustard seed! But God, in His goodness and mercy, looked at me and recognized it was ALL I had in my helpless situation. The brain tumors were growing and pressing against my brain limiting my every action from talking, thinking, doing, etc. I was barely existing . . . but God knew all about it!

My mustard seed-sized faith conquered those brain tumors! My recovery was miraculous - from speechless just 8 months ago and not being able to remember when I was born or even my name or my children's names - to talking and remembering, from stumbling on the piano to again playing it and even playing for the praise team at church every week now, from not being able to write or spell words to once again writing on my blog!! Sometimes I still have to slow down and think and say some words over again in my mind every once in a while but my whole being, my whole thought processes are back! As my family and friends say . . .  "Diana, you're back"!!
It was my "mustard seed faith" and the many, many other "mustard seeds" of faithful people that prayed for my healing and my recovery along the way.  This month marked 8 months since discovering the tumors and my surgery.  It has been a remarkable 8 months in so many ways.  I have exercised my "mustard seed faith" in every area of my life and I have seen what, many times, seemed to be totally impossible . . . but I have seen beyond the "impossible" to the "possible" with the help of God Almighty!  I know first hand that "nothing is impossible" with God and a little "mustard seed faith"!!

Hmmmm . . . just what would happen if we had the faith of a watermelon seek, a cucumber seed, an orange seed, an avocado seed . . . or a peach seed???!!!

Here are a few "mustard seed faith builders" . . .

Matthew 17:20 says, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.


Mark 9:23 says everything is possible for him who believes.

Mark 10:27 says that all things are possible for God.

Romans 12:3 says God gives us the measure of faith.

Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Mark 11:23-24 a prayer of faith. Now notice in verse 22 that it says "Have faith in God".

Hebrew 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God, because everyone who comes to Him
must believe.

2 Cor. 5:7 says that we must live by faith NOT by sight. Seeing can be very deceiving. Keep your eyes on God.

1 John 5:14 says, that we can have confidence, that if we ask anything according to the Word of God then we will receive what we ask.

1 Cor. 13:2 says that faith has to be proceeded by love.

1 Thes. 5:8 says to put faith and love on as a breastplate. Faith and love go hand in hand, and protect and shield your heart.

Heb. 12:2 says Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.

So, take a look at your tiny mustard seed and discover the faith within you.  Exercise that faith and look at the power of God at work in your heart and life and go ahead . . . move those mountains that are standing, tall and majestic, in front of you today and remember - "NOTHING" is impossible with God!      

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